Apple iPad Pro vs. Microsoft Surface Pro: Which Tablet Is Right For You?

If there’s one picture that comes to mind when selecting between an Apple and Microsoft product, it’s substantially actors Justin Long and John Hodgman station alongside one another opposite a white backdrop. “We use a lot of a same kinds of programs,” says Hodgman, personification a purpose of a PC dressed in a beige business coupler and slacks, in one iconic “Get a Mac” ad from 2006. “But we keep a lot of what creates us us.”


Fast brazen some-more than 10 years later, and small about that perspective has changed. Both Microsoft and Apple have recently launched new tablets that they contend are designed for capability and creativity. The fifth-generation Surface Pro, rising on Thursday and starting during $799, is a company’s fastest indication yet, with Microsoft claiming longer battery life, malleable performance, and some-more accurate stylus input. Apple denounced a new iPad Pro usually final week, that has an updated processor, a new distance option, and malleable shade technology. The 10.5-inch chronicle starts during $649, while a 12.9-inch distance starts during $799.

Buy now: Microsoft Surface Pro, $799 and up, Best Buy | iPad Pro, $649 and up, Apple

Both are powerful, portable, and costly machines designed to perform identical roles, any excelling and descending brief in their possess ways. The iPad Pro functions malleable as a inscription overall, while a Surface Pro is some-more able of replacing your PC.

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That’s mostly since of a program powering these devices. The iPad Pro runs on iOS, that boasts a large library of some-more than dual million apps, many of that are optimized privately for a iPad. You can feel gentle meaningful that when a renouned app launches, there’s a good possibility it will be accessible for a iPad and it’ll demeanour good. Meanwhile, Microsoft has prolonged been criticized for a smaller preference of apps, that is partial of a reason a mobile height never took off. Spotify and YouTube are dual renouned apps still blank from a Windows Store, for example.

The desktop knowledge is where a Surface has a large lead over a iPad Pro. Yes, Apple is creation an bid to spin a iPad into a malleable laptop replacement. When iOS 11 launches in a fall, a iPad will benefit a wharf that binds some-more apps, a redesigned app switcher, and a new record government app, all of that make it some-more like a “real” computer. Even before that update, a iPad Pro can arrangement apps in a separate shade view, minimize a video and play it in a dilemma so we can continue with other tasks, and lift adult apps in a sidebar.

But a Surface runs bone-fide Windows 10, creation it malleable versed for multitasking right out of a gate. That’s a biggest advantage a Surface has over a iPad. If you’ve been regulating Windows during all in a past few years, we already know how it works. Plus, we can use a rodent with a Surface Pro, that is tremendously useful for precision.

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For removing critical work done, we cite Microsoft’s Signature TypeCover ($159.99 for Signature, $129.99 for regular) over Apple’s Smart Keyboard ($169 for 12.9-inch, $159 for 10.5-inch). The TypeCover is some-more spacious, with copiousness of room to rest your palms, a full quarrel of duty keys, and a sturdier pattern than in years past. It still doesn’t feel like a laptop keyboard when you’re regulating it in your path rather than on a tough surface, though it’s adequate to get a pursuit done. The iPad’s keyboard cover is adequate if you’re holding a few records or promulgation discerning emails, though it’s too close to use for a full workday.

Both Apple and Microsoft are selling their tablets as ideal for artistic professionals. With that in mind, both have engineered their possess styluses for all from holding records to modifying photos and sketching artwork. Both a Apple Pencil ($99) and Surface Pen ($59.99 for regular, $99.99 for Platinum) are manageable and fluid, though we cite Microsoft’s for dual reasons: it magnetically attaches to a Surface so it’s harder to lose, and it can simply do some-more than a Apple Pencil. Clicking a Surface Pen’s tip symbol pulls adult a side row on a inscription with apps designed for stylus input, like Sticky Notes and Sketchpad, as good as suggested apps. The Apple Pencil works good though doesn’t yield any additional functionality, and there’s nowhere to store it.

The Surface Pro has another pattern advantage over a iPad Pro, too: The kickstand. It creates it probable to adjust a observation angles to your fondness and column adult a Surface on a list or list even when it’s not connected to a keyboard case. The kickstand on a newest indication is even some-more flexible, permitting a Surface to distortion scarcely prosaic opposite a list identical to a drafting board.

In terms of hardware, both a Surface Pro and iPad Pro are versed with beautiful screens, zippy processors, and flattering good battery life. But there are some critical differences. Although a Surface Pro’s shade (12.3-inches with a fortitude of 2,736 by 1,824) and a 10.5-inch iPad Pro’s arrangement (2,224 by 1,668 resolution) both looked pointy and colorful when streaming video side-by-side, a iPad was malleable matched for reading. This is mostly interjection to Apple’s TrueTone technology, that malleable a blue light entrance from a shade to feel easier on a eyes. Scrolling is also smoother on Apple’s tablet, nonetheless a disproportion is usually conspicuous when fast flipping by content.

But Microsoft gives buyers some-more options when it comes to estimate power. Surface shoppers can customize their appurtenance with a lower-powered Intel m3 or desktop-class Core i5 or Core i7, all of that are new seventh-generation processors. Microsoft also offers adult to 1TB of storage space, while all iPad Pro models run on Apple’s A10X Fusion chip and have a limit of 512GB of storage space.

Still, both machines offer rapid and well-spoken opening and can multitask with ease. On both a iPad Pro and Surface Pro, we worked on spreadsheets, wrote articles, non-stop scarcely 20 tabs in Google Chrome, played games with complicated graphics, and streamed video though any stutters. The Surface Pro scored somewhat aloft in opening tests designed to magnitude speed when it comes to regulating apps and estimate images, though not by much. However, we did notice that Microsoft’s inscription began to feel comfortable to a hold while it ran a full complement pathogen indicate in a credentials of those tasks.

Because we chose to use Google Chrome during a march of this test, that gobbled adult 80% of my battery usage, a Surface Pro’s didn’t final utterly as prolonged as we had expected. we got about 6 hours out of a device, that competence not be adequate to get by a full workday though plugging in. If we don’t mind essentially regulating Microsoft’s Edge browser, you’ll expected get most some-more mileage out of a device. But a iPad still lasted longer: After regulating a brew of Chrome and Safari, we usually burnt by a entertain of a battery after 3 and a half hours.

If you’re perplexing to confirm either a Surface Pro or iPad Pro is right for you, a answer mostly depends on your preferences and how we devise to use it. The iPad Pro has a malleable preference of discriminating apps, is lighter and some-more portable, and is malleable for reading. In my experience, it’s copiousness absolute adequate to keep adult with inclination regulating on a latest Intel processors. But a program usually isn’t there nonetheless if we mostly devise to use it as a laptop replacement. The Surface Pro’s Windows 10 support, integrated kickstand, and higher accessories make it malleable during functioning as a work computer, though a app preference needs work.

Think of it this way: The iPad Pro is a device I’d select to take on a prolonged automobile ride, generally if we wish to locate adult on a lot of work-related reading, glow off some emails, and fist in some gaming. The Surface Pro is a mechanism I’d toss in my bag on a approach to a discussion to tell stories or move a assembly to conduct notes. Perhaps Justin Long, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans as a Mac, puts it best: “You should see what this man can do with a spreadsheet,” he says in a ad, gesturing toward his PC counterpart. “It’s insane.”

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